Grand Rapids may not be a hot tourist destination in comparison to other other large US cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, but River City does know how to entertain. If you’ve recently moved to Grand Rapids or you’re here on a trip for business or pleasure, there are a number of excellent dining spots to ensure you stay well-fed and happy. To save you research time, we’ve compiled a list of the best casual dining spots in Grand Rapids ranked and rated by both restaurant goers and our staff.
1) Founders Brewing
A review of the best restaurants in Beer City would not be complete without a brewery up top. In addition to having a great selection of beers, the brewery also has a strong food menu with a variety of different pizzas, sandwiches, and salads. The Devil Dancer and Backwoods Bastard are two of the most popular sandwich items that we would definitely recommend trying.
2) The Mitten Brewing
The Mitten is neither the first nor the last brewery to grace this list. The brewery is housed in a refurbished historic engine house, which makes for a very unique dining atmosphere. Certain elements of the original fire house like the fire pole have been maintained. The Mitten has a wide selection of gourmet pizzas, which are all incredible. For guests with dietary restrictions, almost every pizza can be made vegan and every pizza can be made vegetarian.
3) Rak Thai
If you’re in Grand Rapids and looking for things to do, it’s worth checking out the Downtown Market. There are a number of fun local shops selling a variety of different things from ice cream to plants and candles. There are a few fast casual eateries within the market, but Rak Thai really shines. The menu consists of traditional asian favorites with innovative flavors for items like pad thai, beef bulgogi, and bubble tea. As branding snobs, we’re also a fan of the shop’s custom printed plastic cups.
4) Stella’s Lounge
Stella’s Lounge is by far one of the coolest eateries in Grand Rapids. Arcade machines line the entrance walls, TVs play all of the shows you grew up on, and the bar regularly hosts open-mic and karaoke nights. Stella’s is consistently voted as having one of the best burgers in Grand Rapids. In addition to having mouth-watering burgers, the chronic fries are also addicting.
5) Maru Sushi & Grille
If it’s sushi you desire, then Maru will quickly become your go-to sushi restaurant. Maru boasts a sizable menu with quite possibly the largest selection of sushi options out of any other restaurant in Grand Rapids. The sushi is masterfully crafted and every menu item is delicious.
6) Donkey Taqueria
Wealthy Street is a hub for trendy shops and eateries. Both locals and tourists alike flock to Wealthy to shop and eat. Nestled right in the middle of all the action is Donkey Taqueria, which is considered to be one of the most lively Mexican joints in all of Grand Rapids. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is inviting. When the weather is warm, there is plenty of outside seating available to soak in the sun and vibrant community.
7) San Chez Bistro
San Chez Bistro offers visitors an authentic blend of European, Latin American, and Mediterranean recipes. The restaurant features tapas and small plates for guests looking to share a variety of different foods. However, meals with full-sized portions are available as well. The ceramic tiled columns and warm color palette will make you feel like you’re in Spain. If you’ve never had paella, we recommend trying the paella from San Chez.
8) Brewery Vivant
Brewery Vivant is the third and final brewery on the list. Vivant is housed in a renovated church, which makes for a wonderfully unique dining experience. In addition to the great beer selection, Vivant also has a pub menu with something for everyone. From bean and veggie burgers to risotto and sausage and grits, we’re big fans of Brewery Vivant.
9) Wolfgang’s Restaurant
Wolfgang’s is considered the go-to breakfast and brunch location in Grand Rapids. Wolfgang’s offers breakfast all day every day and has repeatedly been awarded for having the best breakfast in Grand Rapids. If you’re in the mood for eggs, waffles, or french toast, you’ll probably want to check out Wolfgang’s. The skillets and omelettes are highly recommended.
10) Chez Olga
Just 2 minutes west of Wolfgang’s sits the final restaurant on our list. Chez Olga features caribbean eats in a colorful, bright, and welcoming dining environment. Feast on jerk chicken, fried plantains, and spicy coleslaw that is out of this world. The food is just as unique as the ornate wood architecture lining the building’s exterior.
About Budget Branders
Budget Branders specializes in providing restaurants, coffee shops, and bars with affordable custom-printed cups, sleeves, and bags. As passionate restaurant branding aficionados, we spend a lot of time visiting and trying food at local restaurants.